"Silent Night. Holy Night"
The birth of this world famous Christmas Carol was on Christmas Eve 1818
At the church of St. Nikolai in Oberndorf near Salzburg, vicar Joseph Mohr met up with the
schoolteacher Franz Xaver Gruber from nearby Arnsdorf to compose a song for Midnight Mass. It had to have guitar accompaniment, because the organ was out of order. Joseph Mohr had already written a Christmas poem in 1816, when he was in Mariapfarr,which lies in a very mountainous region of Austria.
In 1817 Mohr moved to Oberndorf for health reasons. He presented his poem to his friend and asked him to compose a suitable melody. Franz Xaver Gruber went home and started with the composition of the melody straight away. At Midnight Mass priest and teacher sang Silent Night for the first time. The congregation was instantly enthralled. When the organ maker Karl Mauracher from the Tyrol came to repair the organ at St. Nikolai Church, he heard the performance of the new carol. He took the song back to his homeland. From then on its popularity spread through Austria and even beyond its borders.
In 1831 it was sung in Leipzig/ Germany. The families Strasser and Rainer took it to St. Petersbourg and sang it to the Czar’s family. It also made its way to England, and in 1839 it was performed in New York. Soon Christian missionaries had brought the song to countries throughout the world and this heart warming song was being sung in many different tongues. This CD now provides different nationalities with the text of Silent Night in their native language, together with the unique melody, it is a message of peace. If you listen carefully to the melody of the original six verses you will find slight differences to the common version. We used the authentic notes that Franz Xaver Gruber put to paper all those years ago. These two humble men, graced with the lords blessings dreamt of bringing good will to the world. We would like to think that, with these translations in 15 different languages, we have contributed to their vision.